Ash Wednesday Reflection
A Year-Long Lent
A year ago, our lives were beginning to change in ways that we could scarcely have imagined. Someone I was speaking with recently mentioned it was like a year-long Lent.
The word Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon lencten, a reference to Spring when the days lengthen. Since the early centuries of the Church, this time of fasting, prayer and almsgiving has marked the period of preparation before Holy Week and Easter.
Frequently over this last year the phrase ‘build back better’ has been used. Perhaps Lent provides us with a unique opportunity each year to build back better, to take stock of our lives and engage in a process of discernment to better understand where God is leading us.
St Augustine of Hippo said, ‘Our hearts are restless Lord, and they will not rest until they rest in you.’ Lent provides us with the perfect opportunity to partake in this journey. We all know from this year of pandemic, that journey can have many challenges, rough places, bogs and twists. Yet, it can also bring joy, companionship and discovery. Perhaps this year Lent can provide us with the time out, the space in our lives to reconnect with God, finding a haven for our restlessness and a new vision for ourselves and our world.